Unsrprisingly, There are a couple of games I forgot that deserve a mention.
I have two primary memories from my time with Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. The first is the tedium of reconfiguring and tweaking my vehicle so that I had exactly one optimized for the particular challenge of was doing. The second is the great feeling when the vehicle I made worked so well that actually piloting it through the challenge became trivial. I still fondly recall breaking specific challenges, like the land-vs-water race, or soccer, or trash collection. Also, the delight of realizing that even on challenges where you have to use a goofy pre-made vehicle, you can on-the-fly edit it into something better. It’s hard to think of another game so rewarding of creativity.
And then there’s Persona 4. I spent more time with it than with any other single game from 2008. That has to count for something, right?